Chigwell nursery plan rejected

Proposals for a day nursery in Chigwell have been refused in the face of concerns about noise from children.

Inadequate onsite parking provision, impact of noise, a resulting increase in traffic, and impact on neighbouring roads – namely Brook Parade, High Road, New Barns Way, Coolgardie Avenue and Chigwell Park, have all been cited for refusal for the planned reuse of the empty property High Road.

As many as 60 children looked after by up to 20 staff will now have to be cared for elsewhere after Epping Forest District Council planning committee decided the impact on neighbours could not be justified.

The nursery, which had been planned to operate between 7am and 7pm, said an external play area would only be used between 9am and 6pm.

But noise along with the traffic impacts – the council said three parking spaces was insufficient despite a lack of objection from Essex highways – has been used as a reason for refusal.

As many as 459 residents had submitted objections to the plans.

Resident Cindy Lessing told Epping Forest District Council planning committee on June 12: “The noise pollution of children and traffic is cumulative. Noise generated by 40 young children in an open area is far more intrusive, impacting severely on the lives of all the nursery’s neighbours.”

She added there was also concern about the impact of traffic and the danger it posed to children as parents attempted to negotiate in and out.

She added: “In the absence of proper delivery and collection facilities a serious accident could occur. Where is children’s safeguarding?”

“This proposal is unwarranted, a danger to life, brought with noise pollution and totally against the environmental well-being of its neighbours .”

Tania Tindale, agent for the application said the proposal will deliver employment opportunities, adding the highways authority was satisfied that the proposal will not be detrimental to highway safety while claiming “there are a number of day nurseries that operate successfully on busy roads with very limited parking.”

She added: “Overall the proposal meets all tiers of planning policy and guidance and would provide much-needed additional pre-school facilities in an accessible location.”

Sebastian Mann

Local democracy reporter